By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO January 3, 2003 Thank you for allowing me to be chair, began Sullivan County Legislature Chair Leni Binder at the conclusion of the end-of-the-year legislative meeting on Monday, December 23. There will be major changes next year. That is my personal commitment. We will go forward.
One of those changes will be reforming the Vacancy Review Committee, which will review budget issues, county jobs, and many of the issues brought up during the budget process. The committee will also begin to look at the 2004 budget beginning in January (as opposed to how it was done in the past, when the process started in June). The committee will consist of the Legislature Chair (Binder), the Legislative Majority Leader (Rodney Gaebel), the Legislative Minority Leader (Chris Cunningham), the County Manager (Dan Briggs), the Sullivan County Financial Management Administration Commissioner (Richard LaCondre), and the Personnel Officer (Pamela Rourke).
In January, some of the committee chairs will be shuffled around. The changes will be officially announced at the Legislatures reorganizational meeting on Wednesday, January 8. However, Binder offered the Sullivan County Democrat an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming changes.
The first big change will be in the General Services Committee, which will be split into two separate committees: Personnel and General Services. Personnel will be headed by current General Services Chair Chris Cunningham. The committee will include Workforce Development and will consider hiring and decisions to eliminate positions.
General Services will be chaired by Jodi Goodman. Consumer Affairs, which Goodman currently chairs, will be combined with General Services. It will also include all contract agencies such as Cornell Cooperative Extension, Sullivan County Community College, and the Board of Elections.
Binder revealed that three committees will see new chairs. Kathleen LaBuda, who was Chair of Financial Management, will now chair Public Safety. Former Public Safety Chair Don Trotta will move over to head up Health and Family Services. Former Health and Family Services Chair Greg Goldstein will chair Financial Management.
We have some new legislators that have special skills we should take advantage of, Binder remarked. For instance, Dons extensive background in hospital administration and Gregs expertise in finance.